The appointment of Senator Ita Enang and Senator Godswill Akpabio to supervise on issues in the Niger Delta region has led to power tussle, and needless brick-bats that have literally added little or no value to the exploited and explored oil rich sub region of the country.
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga says Senator Ita Enang deserves sympathy from his people in Akwa Ibom State, since his work demands of him to defend every action of the Presidency irrespective of the neglect and untold hardship on the Niger Delta region.
Referring to the Minister of Niger Affairs, (Godswill Akpabio) and the Presidential aide on Niger Delta, and the former Managing Director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, the former Commander of the Presidential Fleet said, “I think they just pushed them there so they can be fighting themselves and no good can come to their people in such situations like that, I sympathize with them.”
Reacting to recent statements credited to Senator Ita Enang that all Niger Delta State Governors and not the President, ought to be blamed for the poor state of infrastructure in the Niger Delta Region, Otuekong Nkanga said on a radio interview programme ‘Dakkada Akwa Ibom’ , that such a statement was quite awful and unfortunate.
“Well the Senator is a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, I understand his plight”, Nkanga said of the Enang who had also called for the cancellation of 13percent oil derivation to Niger Delta States by the federal government.
Otuekong Nkanga who spoke extensively on the clamour for restructuring in the country, said that the issue of restructuring is not secession, neither is it an issue for debate but a natural end since the country has failed, noting that once a mode of governance does not work it is only pertinent to adopt other means as seen in other countries of the world like Germany, Great Britain, among others.
Nkanga reiterated that restructuring is centred on three key factors, fiscal federalism, true federalism, and restructuring of federating units, explaining that this approach to governance brought about development in Western Nigeria in the 50s and 60s.
“Derivation was 50 percent in the first Republic and that was how the Western Region was able to develop their infrastructure the way they did, including having free education and establishing the first Television station in Africa, we can control our resources and give a certain percentage to the center”, the former Governor insisted.
On true federalism, he asserted that “what they are doing now is fake, we have 65 items on the concurrent list, why do Inspector General of Police sit in Abuja and tell me how to catch a thief in my backyard because they won’t allow state policing.
He also harped on the need to for restructuring of federating units, and expressed optimism that Nigeria if not restructured, would eventually restructure itself.
The former Commander of the Presidential Fleets who just returned from a session of the legal tussle against the President, said he and 15 other eminent leaders from the southern and middle belt part of the country, were in court to seek justice.
He said they wanted the Court to interpret the Constitutional provisions on appointments and spread of development in the country which they felt has been constantly breached by President Buhari since the advent of his administration in 2015.
He further reiterated the position of PANDEF , maintaining that, sadly less than one of the 16 points earlier presented to the President has been achieved for the Niger Delta people.
“Most of the items we presented to the President, were going to cost absolutely nothing; just the goodwill of the President, like asking the IOCs, to relocate their headquarters to their operational base.”
“Half of one is the Maritime University at Delta, that same paragraph had the upgrading of Maritime Academy in Oron to a university, which has not been done, the other 15 and half has not been touched.”
“When we started, they said we need to dialogue with them, from dialogue eventually became monologue because it was only the central government that was talking, today there is no logue at all.” he explained.
He restated that the PANDEF is not affiliated to any political party as the aim of the forum is to agitate for development to be brought into all parts of the sub- region, adding that most of their active executive members are chieftains of the All Progressives Congress just as some are members of the PDP.